Council aims for compromise on sewerage costs

Ballina Shire Council has deferred a decision to slug landowners around $14,000 to connect to the towns sewerage system so it could consult with them.

About 20 residents who live in unsewered properties in North and West Ballina applauded when councillors unanimously voted to defer a decision on its backlog sewerage program, which would have seen them charged for connection to the urban sewer system.

Councillors will now hold a workshop on the issue with Council engineering staff and community representatives.

North Ballina resident Teena Reeves earlier pleaded with councillors to rethink its policy of charging landowners for the cost of capital works to connect them to the sewer.

Ms Reeves said the majority of affected householders were totally unaware of the plan and the impact of a $14,000 bill thrust upon them.

She tabled a petition which she said contained 120 signatures against the proposal from 141 lots earmarked for connection.

Residents, she said, were happy to pay for the connection to their homes but not to the extent that Council was proposing.

Council has allocated $3 million for the connection program over the next three years. Council staff have recommended Council seek 100 per cent recovery of this capital cost from residents, estimated at $14,057 per lot.

Ms Reeves

said residents realised there was a cost involved, but suggested Council could subsidise the cost on a 50/50 basis.

Mayor Phil Silver said he hoped a compromise could be reached between Council and residents at the workshop early next year.

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